Carp Fishing Tips

Many people that fish would like to catch carp, but it is not always that easy to know what to do in order to catch them effectively. It could be that your general fishing technique needs some improvement or that you could do with some specific pointers with regards to carp fishing specifically. Whichever it is, you have come to the right place!


Hooks do vary and it is important to make sure that you do have the right one for the job. The hook design can be vital to making sure that not only, it attaches, but that it stays in place while you are reeling in. A sharp hook with a thicker wire can be a good idea. One rather like a Kamasan low water salmon hook but with a longer shank. There and others with a similar design will work well, especially if using the technique that follows to catch your fish. Sharpening hooks might seem a little old fashioned to some anglers but it will make them more effective and more likely to take hold. You can do this with different brands of hooks and it can make them more effective. A blunt hook will mean that you will lose fish and so by always ensuring it is sharp, you will never be taking this risk. If the hook does not work, then the fish can take the bait and escape and the angler may never realise it had a potential bite there. So, you do need to make sure that you so everything that you can, to make sure that the hook works its best. Do not assume that when you buy a new hook that it will sharp enough, have a go at sharpening it anyway. A longer point can be more effective as well, so you may need to adjust this in the hooks that you buy. There is, of course, a risk that the hook will split if you over sharpen it, but you are likely to lose a lot less fish this way compared to not catching them ay all due to it being blunt.

Treating the Hook

A newly sharpened hook has a taste and I will shine which could be a give away to fish. Therefore, it can be a good idea to cover it with paste. Not only will this disguise it, but it will raise interest from fish. If you use different types of baits on it and use ones that break down in the water at different rates, this can also help to arouse their curiosity.

Heavy Leads

Many anglers will choose a heavy lead in order to help them catch more and it can work but it is worth considering whether a lighter lead but with a longer hair and hook link might give more fish and perhaps even be more successful at catching bigger fish that tend to be warier.

Hook Technique

The angle of the hook when penetrating can make a really big difference and it is through that 26 degrees with an in turned eye is perfect. This will hold securely and keep hold. This can even work in the winter when the fish are very still and will only move if you can really tempt them. You do not want to lose them in these situations and so making sure you have the right technique is key.

Trial and Error

For you, you may not feel that this will work. However, the only way to really find out is to try it out for yourself. Trying it on different days or in different locations is never going to be a fair test This means that you should try to set up two lines near each other. Set up one as normal and follow the tips above for the other and this should help you to be able to compare how many bites you get with each. You will need to invest in a sharpener first, but these will not be massively expensive and if they give you great results then they will be well worth the investment. It is likely that you will find a diamond sharpener the best and one that is a bar shape could work the most easily. It will take time to do all of that sharpening, but you can always do it when you are sitting in front of the TV and so it will not take up time when you would otherwise be doing something useful!


There are often adverts for bait, recipes and all sorts of information, which can lead you to think that this is the most important consideration when it comes to catching carp. Although there may be some differences, it is worth making sure that you have your technique sorted out first, as described above. Without this, any miracle bait, however much the manufacturer hypes about it, will not work for you.

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How to Make Boilies

If you are thinking about making your own boilie then you may wonder where to start. There are lots of different ingredients that you can use and there are lots of recipes as well. It can actually be really confusing deciding what might be the best recipe or the best ingredients. If you know someone that fishes in the same site as you, then it can be useful to chat to them as they will be able to let you know what they have tried and what works well for them. However, you may still want to experiment yourself as you may find that there are things that they have not tried that will be better.

Base Ingredients

There are different base ingredients that you can try which will help to bind everything together. Semolina is a popular one as it is cheap and you can buy white or brown in supermarkets. It will carry flavour well and is a good carbohydrate. It is often mixed with soya flour in a 50/50 base. There are different types of soya flour that have different levels of protein but they all tend to work well you can choose from soya isolate which is the highest, soya flout or full-fat soya which is the lowest. Maize meal can also be added. It is cheap and carbohydrate and can be bought as flour or a more gritty and dense form. Polenta is a type of ground down maize that you could use. Rice flour could also be used with semolina as it is high in starch and semolina.

Bird Food

Some people like to use bird food and you can choose from different types. Some have insects in and others have seeds and they may need to be ground down a bit to be added in to the mix. They are usually pretty cheap. Some bird food has spices in and some have caraphyll red in them. The red colour is attractive to fish and so it could be added to the mix even if you do not choose bird food, in order to get their attention.

Fish Meals

Many anglers will buy fishmeal to add to their boilie. There are various proportions you could try but many will use ¼ fishmeal with ¼ each of various flours such as semolina, rice and soya. They may also add olive oil and eggs to bind it together. Then the addition of colouring will also help. The fish meal will provide a flavour which fish will like but they do vary and you may need to try different ones to see which works the best. A sweet flavour enhancer can also be useful to attract them. Another advantage of using fish meal is that it is great food for the fish and it will help them to grow which means that they will put on weight. In the winter months it slows their metabolism though so is not so good especially as it means that they will be harder to catch as a result. Fish meal can tend to be a bit lumpy so you may need to sieve it before rolling it so that it is easier to use.

Fish Oil

Some people use fish oil in their mix as it will attract fish. They can be used in the boilie at about 30ml per lb but also the hook baits can be dipped into it prior to casting. You could also spray it over your boilies or soak the hook baits in it for a few days. It will make the boilie hard. You could also add flavour to the oil to make it even more attractive. Some anglers choose to sprinkle fish oil on the water and as carp love them it will attract them to the area.

Mixing the Boilies

Make sure that you start by mixing the liquid ingredients to the egg. Then mix all the dry ingredients together and then add a spoonful at a time to the egg mix and thoroughly mix before adding the next spoonful. It should get to the point where it can be kneaded with the hands but is not sticky. You will need to put it in a plastic food bag so that it does not dry out. Then you can make it into sausage shapes and put it into your boilie gun to form the right sizes and leave them spread out to dry. Some people will boil them and using a chip pan with a basket so that you can easily put them in and get them out of the water. Boil for 90 seconds to form a skin, for 2 to 3 minutes to make a harder skin and a soft inside or for 3 to 5 minutes if you want them harder. Boiling will boil out the flavour too, so you need to get the balance right. You can always spray them with flavour afterwards and freeze them to get the flavour back.

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Best Ways to Use Ground Bait Crumb

Bread crumb ground baits are used by a lot of anglers, but it is important to get your technique right. Many successful fishermen use the technique, especially when catching carp. It is therefore well worth learning how to do it and how to get it correct so it enhances your chances of catching lots of fish.


There is an important tactic to it though. The problem with using a ground bait is that if you use too much then the fish will feed on it, be satisfied and have no reason to take the bait that is on the hook. It is therefore important to make sure that it attracts them without providing them with a filling meal. It is therefore a good idea to have a few powdered ingredients and some liquid or powdered attractants such as spices or flavourings or even colourings that will arouse their curiosity. The types of things that you can use are oils, coconut milk, condensed milk, herbs, powdered hemp or tiger nuts and creamed milks. These will help to stick the bread crumbs together and flavour them. Using white bread can be better as it will bind better and so the balls will hold together better in the water. You can also damp them before pitting them in the water. This will not only mean that they will stick together better but they will form a skin so they can fly further through the air if you need to throw them some distance from the shore. Making them in this way will mean that they will not be too satisfying and it could actually make the fish more hungry for proper food so they will be much more tempted to take the bait from your hook.


So, it can be a good idea to start by putting out half a dozen balls when you first start. This is best in clear water where they will be more easily seen. Also keep them in a small area as you do not want the fish straying too far from the hook. Large hooks can then be used as long as they are well hidden with bait and they are more likely to hold on to a fish. Carp will still be cautious though and so you will need to keep attracting them with the ground bait crumb. As it is not filling them up, they are more likely to be brave and come to investigate what you have on your hook and you are more likely to be able to catch them. However, you still do not want to use them too often as dropping them into the water can scare the fish and if some are already interested in your hook bait, they may be scared away. It is therefore good to try to be gentle and also keep a close check on what is going on, if it is possible for you to see anything under the water. It is more likely that you will have to guess, so just leave gaps between throwing them in and that should work out for you.

How to Keep Going

If you have several rods, then you will want to position them in the middle of them. You will need to be careful about what bait you are using as well. Obviously, the point is not to attract the fish to eat the ground bait but to actually come close and eat the bait on the hook. The ground bait is to attract them in but the hook is your target. Therefore, you will need to be careful to not use too much at a time or do it too often or they may just spend all of their time eating the ground bait and staying away from the hooks. Make sure that your hooks are also very attractive. If you are using flavour and colour on the ground bait, you will also need to use this on the hook bait. Think about how you can make the hook bait even more attractive than the ground bait, perhaps by using different colours and flavours. It can be a case of experimentation, but if you have the basics and try these methods, you will at least know where to start. Fiddling around with your bait recipes can make a difference, but it can be frustrating as in the same location, some days baits will just seem more attractive than others. You will also have to work much harder in the winter months as fish are less likely to bite so you may need more bait and to think harder about making it really attractive.

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How to Catch Big Carp

Catching big carp is an ambition of many anglers. There are now books, magazines and articles available to help you with getting the right tactics, but it is still not really that easy. It is tricky to get access to all of the information and to find out what might apply to you specifically. You may even absorb it all, have a go and find that you have no success. This can be demotivating and many novices may even give up because they just find that they cannot get the right technique. This is a shame, as it is possible to catch big carp as long as you work at it.

Magazines and Books

There are many magazines, books and shops such as which will recommend certain tackle and bait and if you buy these, then you may just assume that you will then have everything that you need to catch the carp. However, this does not always work. Having all the right lines and hooks, buying the best brands of bait (according to the manufacturers) and things like that will cost lots of money. This can further impact the frustration if you are not catching anything because you can feel cross that you are spending all this money and not having any success. This tends to either lead to you buying different or more expensive items in the hope that things will improve as a result or just giving up entirely because you just feel defeated. It is so easy to fall for the adverts, telling you how good the products are, it is easy to forget that it could actually be a different technique that is needed rather than more expensive products.

Perseverance and Tactics

It is really important to understand that carp are not easy fish to catch. They are not easily fooled, especially if they have been hooked before, they will not want to be hooked again. You, therefore, need to make sure that you understand them and respect the fish. Think about things from their point of view. An older carp will be knowledgeable and it will notice a hook and so you will need to work hard to make sure that you fool it. Just having an expensive bait will not normally be enough. You will need to think hard about what will work.

Make Your Own Bait

It can be wise to actually consider making your own bait. Not only will this usually be cheaper but it will give you the opportunity to experiment. You can try different spices herbs, flavourings and colours to see what works the best. You could even try two different baits on two hooks in the same water at the same time to compare them. You may find what works one day may not work on another and it can be much harder to catch anything in the winter months so you will really need to think hard about what might tempt them then.

Try Different Locations

It can be tempting to keep trying at the same point. This might be because it is easy to get to, it comes highly recommended or it is a pretty place to spend time. Of course, these factors are really important when you are fishing, but if you end up not catching anything then you may as well go there for a walk rather than bothering to set up your fishing kit and waiting for a bite.

Talk to The Experts

You may find that some anglers are not keen to share their knowledge of fishing as they want to keep their knowledge to themselves. However, there are others that are generous with their knowledge and are happy to help and share. It can be great to chat to members of your angling cub or others that happen to be fishing in the same location as you. You could also find online forums where you may be able to get helpful knowledge and advice as well. Obviously, it will not all work for you. This is because location can determine some of the tactics that will work. However, it is worth trying things out. The advantage of talking to individuals is that they are not plugging a particular piece of equipment. If you look in a magazine, you will often find that articles are advertorials where the manufacturer of a particular hook or bait wants to persuade you that their brand is the best so will do everything that they can to sell it to you.

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Winter Carp Fishing Myths Busted

We can often have some preconceived ideas about fishing especially for carp in the winter. It is a good idea to have these fact-checked as it could mean that we are doing things incorrectly and therefore not making the most of our fishing opportunities. It Is good to make sure that we understand these facts so that we do not make mistakes as a result of misunderstanding them.

Carp Do Not Hibernate

There are many people that believe that fish and especially carp will hibernate in the winter. It is easy to understand why as they are seen less and as the water is cold or even has ice forming around it you would imagine that hibernating would be a good idea. However, they do not hibernate but merely slow down. Their bodies will be doing what they can to reduce energy use so that they stay warm and so they will have a slower metabolism and digestion and they will not swim or move very much. This does mean that they will be less likely to be found and be caught but it is not impossible. You will have to hunt them down and be a lot more deliberate in your techniques so that it is easier to catch them. It can be quite a challenge but for some people, that makes it much more fun catching them.

Carps Still Feed in the Winter

Some people believe that carps do not feed at all in the winter. Although they do slow down, as mentioned above they will still feed to some extent. They will have filled up on protein-rich food in the autumn and so will not need so much of this. They take it in when food is easier to find and the warmer water helps their enzymes to break it down. They can then store fat to sustain them in the cold which is more energy-efficient than easting. They will still feed some of the time though, just less often than in warmer weather. This means that it is possible but you may need to make it much more tempting for them.

Carps do not Always Stay in The Same Deep Water in Winter

It is thought by some that carps will seek deep water and then stay there all winter. It is true that water will be at different temperatures and it would be favourable for them to stay in the warmest one. However, there will be safety concerns as well and they will want to make sure that they feel comfortable in their location. They may tend to stay in groups as well and so if you can find a group of them then you will be more likely to be able to catch one of them. If the lake they are in is about to freeze over they will notice by the change in density of the water and will feed a lot and so it can be good to take advantage of this.

Wind will be an Important Factor

Some people believe that if there is a strong cold north-easterly wind then it will help you to have more success when you fish in the winter. This is probably not really going to help you. If it is really cold then carp will probably be conserving energy rather than feeding and so you are probably less likely to catch any. They are probably more likely to feed if you pick a sunny day and you will feel more comfortable than sitting on the bank freezing cold!

Free Bait Should not be Avoided

Many people feel that if you use free bait then fish will eat that, be satisfied and then not bite. However, they can still be used, but you will have to choose what you pick carefully. You will want to see if you can temp them but you need to make sure that you choose something that will be suitable for the fish. In the winter high protein boilies will not be good as they will take too long for them to digest. However, ones with low protein will be a lot less filling. Choose hook bait too, that will be more easily be digested in the winter. Fish will be more wary and less hungry in the winter and so you will need to tempt them with something and so if you do not use a ground bait at all, they may just not be attracted to you. It can be tempting to use less bait so that they do not fill up on it but then you could risk that all being eaten by other occupants of the water and there being one left to attract the carp, so you could find that you will need as much as at other times of the year.

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Top Tips for Catching Pike

If you are looking to catch pike, then you may be hoping that you can get some great tips to help you. Whether you are new to pike fishing or have been doing it for a while, you should find that these tips will help you out.

Be Early

It is no joke to say that the early bird catches the worm but, in this case, the early bird catches the pike! If you can arrive before anyone else then you will be able to pick the best spot and you will be able to get a head start on everyone else as well. If you are not sure where the best space will be, then go a little later and observe where people choose to go and that should help you to see where the best spots are. If there are already anglers there then try to be at the end of a group rather than in the middle as fish are more likely to notice your bait that way. You can sometimes see the same benefits if you choose to fish late.

Learn About the Area

If you are fishing on a river then you will need to understand it well first. It is a good idea to make sure that you can identify where target areas are. If you walk along the river when it is low, outside of the fishing season, you will be able to see into the water and spot where deeper and shallower areas are. You will also be able to see where weed is growing and perhaps where you may find snags. Think about how low or high lying the river is as this will have an impact on whether it flood when it rains which will impact how many fish there are.

Have Fresh Bait

It is a good idea to make sure that your bait is really fresh. It can make a big difference as to whether the fish are likely to bite or not. If there are lots of anglers then you will have a lot of competition and so you will need to make your bait the most attractive.

Rebait Quickly

You will often find that poke will feed in short spells and so if you get a bite then you are likely to get another in quick succession and so you will need to make sure that you get prepared really quickly. Otherwise, you might find that you miss your opportunity.

Position Bait Well

It is well worth thinking carefully about where your bait is. You need fish to notice it and if there are other anglers, they need to see it and find it more attractive than other bait.

Consider Using a Float Rig

If you are on a river, you will find a float will allow you to quickly see if a fish has taken the bite. You could also twitch your rig to entice the fish as if they think that their meal is getting away they will chase after it.

Move Around

If you are on a river, you may find it beneficial to move around so that you have a bigger chance of finding fish. You will therefore need to keep your kit to a minimum so that you can transport it more easily, but it will be worth it as you will increase your chances of catching more fish.

Fish When River is Rising

If you are river fishing then you will find that if it is rising then the prey fish get very active and keep changing position in the river. This means that they are open to attack and are forced to search for refuge. If the river is flooded though the water will have so much colour that it is unlikely that your bait will be seen and so you will need to wait for it to go down. This timing will be crucial though because after a long flood the fish will be really hungry and so it is likely that you will get a good catch as a result.

Be well Prepared

It is really important to make sure that you are prepared well. Make sure that you do your research beforehand. Find out about the locations near to you so that you pick the right place. Consider your timing and when it would be good for you to be there. Also think about your kit and your bait to make sure that you have everything that you need for a successful session. You will also need to be prepared with regards to your equipment. If you are on a strong waterway then the pike will have a lot of muscle mass as they will be used to fighting the flow of water. This will mean that you will need heavy duty gear to be able to cope with catching them.

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